Banking on success

FRANCES McLeod had seven million reasons to be apprehensive at Wide Bay Australia headquarters as the building society became the first in Queensland to issue shares to the public.

"It really was a first for us and a first for Queensland building societies," Mrs McLeod said.

"We had no one to learn from."

The chief operating officer said the millions of shares were snapped up by keen buyers and the 1992 event was a career highlight.

And after 36 years with Wide Bay Australia, Mrs McLeod’s enthusiasm, commitment and leadership skills have resulted in a nomination for a Queensland Telstra Business Women’s award.

Wide Bay Australia managing director Ron Hancock said he remembered hiring the Bundaberg woman as a junior clerk in 1974.

"She came to us as a 15-year old who just completed Year 10," Mr Hancock said.

"She’s a great person to get on with — she’s knowledgeable and bright.

"She mixes well with the team and is a good leader."

Having worked her way through most departments in the building society, Mrs McLeod is now part of the board of directors.

"I have no official qualification as such," she said.

"My qualification is a BOE — a bachelor of experience."

Mrs McLeod said she was proud to have been named as one of six finalists for the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award.

Having taken only 12 months off following the birth of her daughter, the chief operating officer has successfully divided her time between a work and family life for many years.

"It is fairly hard to juggle, but I have a very supportive husband," Mrs McLeod said.

"It’s about making sure you have that life balance."

And her one piece of advice to Bundaberg people carving out their own careers was to be positive and enjoy their work.

"Negativity breeds negativity," she said.

"You need to have a can-do attitude and being a leader — you need to lead by example."

Mrs McLeod will find out if she is a winner on October 20, during an awards ceremony to be held at Brisbane’s Hilton.

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